On Thursday 3rd Novermber we met with our three Unitary Councillors to discuss the issue of access to Iver station.
We told them that we hear more and more residents complaining that they can’t use Iver station anymore. The parking restrictions that were imposed by the council without ensuring alternatives are in place have effectively cut off access to the station for the residents of the village. For a normal commuter who needs to leave Iver Station at 8am and return at 6-7pm:
- There is no parking on the street
- There is no car park
- There isn’t a bus to the station at these times
- The footpath (this can’t qualify as pavement) is in a dire state and is muddy throughout winter. Walking from Iver Village to the station takes 20-30 minutes. Walking from Iver Heath is not reasonable at all.
- Cycling is dangerous with all the HGVs on the road. Also – not every resident is fit and is able to ride for various reasons.
- A taxi to the station isn’t cheap, especially if you travel regularly.
We said that we understand the inconvenience caused to Richings Park’s residents in the past and that we understand why they needed the council’s help in preventing people from narrowing their roads and blocking access to their driveways. Unfortunately, the current solutions hardly impact the same inconsiderate car owners (they already noticed that there’s hardly any enforcement and are coming back while we, the considerate majority, don’t break the law and have got no alternative).
We told the Councillors that these restrictions don’t only harm the residents of Iver Village, Iver Heath, and other nearby villages and towns, they also harm Richings Park’s businesses since people don’t come by their shops on the way to the station.
Another major issue that we raised was that this situation reduces footfall to the station (as people attest that they go to other stations instead). We hear anecdotal comments that TFL won’t feel too bad closing the station as West Drayton and Langley stations are nearby. The councillors told us that they didn’t hear anything official from TFL to indicate this is the case and suggested that since trains go through the station anyway, TFL don’t have a reason to shut it down (this is incorrect – there were many cases when TFL closed stations that trains go through anyway).
There was talk about the path to the station being re-done next year – this was in the planning for 10 years now and was supposed to happen last year, but the council pushed it back to spring 2023. We were promised that this time they will ensure it’s not pushed back again.
There was some possibility for review of the CPZ, where the current 4-hour restricted parking could be changed to 2 or even 1 hour to stop all-day parking and airport parking but enable locals to park say after 11 or 12 am to use the train. This will not help the commuters that need to get to work, but can at least help residents that need to use the train in the afternoon.
We were also surprised to hear that the residents voted for this scheme. When we asked if all the residents of the parish voted we were told “no, of course not – the residents of RP voted for it”. We find this a little bizarre to be honest – if RP can vote for their street to be resident-only parking, why can’t Iver Village residents vote for it to be closed for HGVs?
Altogether, the councillors were very sympathetic, but unfortunately, they didn’t provide any solution for us, the residents of Iver Village. They generally didn’t agree with any idea of letting people from outside the CPZ buy permits and suggested that this will bring back the same issues Richings Park had before if many will take this on.
It seems like the only viable option we have is our idea of a Community Bus which the councillors supported, although they pointed out that the bus that used to run to the station (8-9 years ago, before the Elizabeth line) was cancelled because it was under-utilised. Therefore, they are not planning to work on a new bus route and propose that we find ways to do it ourselves. We were asked to go to the residents and come back with survey results that will indicate if there’s any purpose in creating a bus route to the station.
The bottom line was that we need to sort things out ourselves.
Our next stages:
- Calling for residents to join the Transport Subcommittee.
- Running a survey to show how many village residents use the station, at what frequency, and at what times of day.
- If the numbers are small, we can go back and ask for Iver Village Residents to be allowed to buy permits because it won’t swamp RP’s streets. If they are larger – we can opt for the bus route option.
If you want to be part of the change to our transport, please join the subcommittee here.